SPECTATOR, NEW STATESMAN, SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY and THE HERALD BOOKS OF THE YEAR
The Scots are one of the world's greatest nations of emigrants. For centuries, untold numbers of men, women and children have sought their fortunes in every conceivable walk of life and in every imaginable climate across the British Empire, the United States and elsewhere, from finance to industry, philosophy to politics.
To the Ends of the Earth puts this extraordinary epic centre stage, taking many famous stories and removing layers of myth and sentiment to reveal the no less startling truth, paying particular attention to the exceptional Scottish role as traders, missionaries and soldiers. This major new book is also a study of the impact of this global world on Scotland itself and the degree to which the Scottish economy was for many years an imperial economy, with intimate, important links through shipping, engineering, jute and banking to the most remote of settlements.
Filled with fascinating stories and with an acute awareness of the poverty and social inequality that provoked so much emigration, To the Ends of the Earth will make its readers think about the world in quite a different way.
A seminal work ... a new iconoclasm which is welcome given the tosh that sometimes passes for knowledge on the subject of the Scottish diaspora. Commendably, Devine is not afraid to name and shame ... [he] has a rare gift for detecting contradictions
Devine's final book in a remarkable trilogy ... fascinating and far-reaching ... His conclusions are as thoughtful and incisive as you'd expect from an academic who has established himself as one of the deepest thinkers on Scottish identity and history, and whose books remain staggeringly popular
[This] rigorous and unsentimental history of Scotland's global diaspora ... explodes myths and foregrounds the prosaic realities of emigration ... it has the fascinating charm of a detective story
Presents a grand overview of Scottish emigration ... very revealing ... an example of why To the Ends of the Earth is so timely [is that] it helps define the real landscape of choice and decision that is now presenting itself more plainly since the last Scottish election
Sharply written ... Devine is an admirable historian, acerbic in judgment, and a pleasure to read ... fill[s] a serious gap left by the tendency of imperial historians to dwell on the political and capital power wielded in Westminster and the City of London
Devine has brought a greater understanding to this fascinating subject and offers an intriguing perspective on a key component of our history and national identity